It’s been nearly 35 years since the Beastie Boys broke onto the scene with their iconic debut record, Licensed To Ill. The album was produced by Rick Rubin, who met the boys when they were still in high school. Many years have passed since they first encountered each other. The Beastie Boys are the focus of Apple TV’s Spike Jonze-directed documentary Beastie Boys Story, and Rubin, among other things, hosts the podcast Broken Record. Now, Rubin has invited the living Beastie Boys members Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz to join his podcast in for a reunion.
The podcast episode marks the first time Horovitz and Rubin have spoken in 20 years. There’s no beef between them, they just fell out of contact in the midst of their busy lives. Listening to their candid conversation, their apparent chemistry makes it hard to tell that any time has passed since they last spoke. Throughout the course of the hour-long podcast, Rubin, along with Spike Jonze, reminisce with Diamond and Horovitz about their early days, hanging out in local New York City records stores, and why Rubin infamously disappeared before the group’s breakout opportunity on Madonna’s Like A Virgin tour.
Rubin also talked about how growing up outside the city in the pre-internet days shaped him:
“I would say they had better access than I had because this was pre-internet. Like now, everyone could find out anything they want about anything. Where I was, it was hard to find out anything about anything. I spent a lot of time in the library doing research, and even that research wasn’t [the] sort of ‘culture of the moment’ research, it was about learning about things I was interested in and spending a lot of time in records was my closest way of having any kind of connection to culture.”
Rubin added, “On the downside, maybe by living in the city, it might narrow the view of what was cool. I didn’t know what was cool, coming where I came from. And the beauty of that was, I could see and hear everything. There was very little peer pressure about that where I lived. If you were in the city, there was stuff that was cool to like and not cool to like, and that could have a limiting effect.”
Listen to the full Broken Record session with Beastie Boys, Spike Jonze, and Rick Rubin above.